YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Thanksgiving will mark 55 years since the first teachers’ strike in the state of Ohio, and it happened right here in the Youngstown City Schools.

Jack Wendle, the president of the Youngstown Federation of Teachers in 1967, was a major voice in the first teacher’s strike in the state, which made national news.

“Teachers did not have a voice in setting the goals and how we accomplish them in education,” Wendle said.

He feels that the problems with education still persist.

“Everything isn’t fine,” he said.

“Management was telling people back then, and I think that’s continued, that everything is hunky-dory; everything is fine; and the fact of the matter is, everything was not fine.”

Wendle thinks that education should be comparable to how we made our first cars — a collaboration where everyone is in on the project and has accountability.

“And that is, we put a core of adults with a cluster of kids, and we keep them together for at least half a decade, if not longer,” he said. “I should have been teaching the same cluster of kids from seventh-grade arithmetic all the way through trigonometry and calculus, and we’d know who was responsible for their mathematics,” he said.

Wendle thinks it’s an investment, not an expense.

“Nobody looks into a crib and sees a baby and says, ‘That’s gonna be a criminal.’ If we spent money early on in life, that kid could turn out to be a whole lot better adult, but we don’t do that.”